What's worth seeing at the upcoming Shanghai Show?

Reposted April 4, 2009 China Car Times

The Shanghai Auto Show is practically upon us, but whats worth seeing in these economically tight times? Will the manufacturers give us some interesting models to look at, or will they try to save their cash on models, or do away with eye candy altogether?

read on...



Coca-Cola's Failed Bid for China Huiyuan Juice: The Return of Protectionism?

Knowledge@Wharton eJournal, April 2, 2009

It looked like a corporate marriage made in heaven: A successful Chinese juice maker, having courted many suitors, finally found a willing partner that also happened to be the world's largest soft drink manufacturer.
For the owners of the Chinese company, it would mean a handsome multi-billion yuan dowry; the foreign soft drink maker, meanwhile, would buy its way into a fast-growing and potentially vast market segment that it had so far failed toconquer. It seemed all too good to be true -- and so it was.
“There was an opportunity there--and it may be a missed opportunity now -- for China to send an olive-branch signal to the rest of the world and say,‘Hey, China's open for business. If you want to invest here we're open to that” says Bill Russo, a former vice president of Chrysler Northeast Asia, now president at Synergistics, a consultancy.

Read the entire story.....

Mr. Russo's comments begin at the bottom of page 3 of the Slideshare document:
Coca Colas Failed Bid For China Huiyuan Juice The Return Of Protectionism
View more documents from Bill Russo.


Why "China Auto" Should Tread Carefully Overseas

Beijing, March 26, 2009

Bill Russo and Edward Morcillo told senior executives at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business that while Chinese auto firms are racing hard to make overseas acquisitions, China should keep the brakes on, and be aware of specific risks they face in the areas of integration capability.
"This is not the right time for overseas acquisitions,"said Russo, former VP of Northeast Asia automotive operations for Chrysler, who pointed out that China suffers from huge domestic overcapacity and is in the process of cutting its 150 OEM auto makers back to about 10.

Russo and Morcillo spoke to a packed audience of senior executives at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business Beijing Campus as part of the Cheung Kong Open Lecture Series.
Read on.....

China Auto Industry Experts Speak at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business

March 26, 2009

Bill Russo gave a lecture at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business entitled “Opportunities and Challenges for China's Automotive Industry During the Global Financial Crisis” The two expert panelists were Eduardo Morcillo and Bill Russo, pictured here (Morcillo on left).

Driving Growth: Industry Experts Speak on China Auto Industry Structure

March 18, 2009

How acquisitions are helping Chinese auto firms to grow abroad IE Associate Professor of Emerging Markets, Eduardo Morcillo, will present opportunities for Chinese companies to grow internationally via acquisitions, taking examples from the auto industry.
Bill Russo, former Regional VP of Chrysler and current President of Synergistics Ltd., will present overall developments of the China auto market and implications for the global auto industry.
Read on.....


GlobalAutoIndustry.com CHINAtalk eJournal Interview

March 2009
Will China surpass the US market in auto sales?
Can a Chinese-branded car company compete on a global level?
Read on.....

Chinese Automakers Look to U.S. Bids

Marketplace American Public Radio March 9, 2009

Rumors are circulating of a few Chinese companies looking to make bids on brands owned by GM, Chrysler and Ford.
The move would help China's automakers in their efforts to go global.
Scott Tong reports.
Rear on.....


China Auto Interview 我的中國汽車市場訪談(中文版)

March 6, 2009
中国离汽车大国还有多远?克莱斯勒副总裁罗威(Bill Russo)访谈录
Read on.....

Slideshare view:

Come Home, Did You Say?

Wall Street Journal March 6, 2009


Come Home, Did You Say?

Some Expats Choose to Cut Ties with Their Employer and Stay Abroad


We went to China in 2005 with a three-year commitment. Like most traditional expats, we arrived for a job (in our case my wife Rebecca's) and when the home office called us back, we packed our bags, said tearful good–byes and climbed on a plane. This is still probably the most common path taken by expats, but it is certainly not the only one.

Some expats have a vision of remaining abroad for long periods and use their initial job offer as a springboard; others find themselves so enamored of their new home that when the first posting ends they find a new way to make it work; some remain with their employer as a "local hire" -- usually meaning open-ended and less cushy terms -- while others seek new jobs or start their own businesses.

As I resettle and struggle to find my footing back home, I have spent a lot of time thinking about some friends who made these types of decisions, which were radically different than our own. They turned down new jobs, transfers or recalls to stake roots in their adopted home, sometimes with potential risk to their career or finances. Unlike those in the growing group of "halfpats" world-wide, many of whom are young, single, and comparatively nimble, these risk takers are older and have gone abroad with families and full-package assignments.

The first people that came to my mind were our friends Matt and Ellen Carberry. They arrived in Beijing from Cambridge, Mass., seven years ago, moving for her job with IBM, with two young children in tow. Unlike us -- and most expats I know in Beijing -- Ellen did not just happen to receive a job in China. Living there had been a long-time goal, hatched in 1983 when she worked nine months in a refugee camp in the Philippines filled with people fleeing chaos in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. She and Matt had discussed their mutual interest in raising children abroad on their very first date 18 years ago.

They and their children -- Luke and Chloe, then ages five and six -- quickly settled into life in Beijing after arriving in 2002. When her assignment ended three years later, none of them felt ready to leave, including the children who knew Beijing -- their school, their neighborhood, their friends -- as their home.

"Going back to the U.S. for a job with IBM was an option but not one we seriously considered," she says. Instead, Ellen immediately began looking for another job, landing at Red Hat, where she worked for three years. With the end of that job in sight last year, Matt and Ellen were still not interested in returning to the U.S. "The children are in one of the best international schools in the world and we live amidst a community of some of the most interesting, committed and down-to- earth families working for businesses, health organizations, embassies, the World Bank and the

world's best newspapers," she says. "These leading organizations have sent their best and brightest toworld's best newspapers," she says. "These leading organizations have sent their best and brightest to define their growth in China -- so it is one of the most interesting, dynamic and enjoyable communities and lifestyles I could possibly imagine."

Matt echoes this sentiment and adds, "Interestingly, I find the family units here very stable. Despite the fact that most are relatively well-off expats, everyone is working for a living. No one is skating through their work and sweeping up cash. There is a very healthy work ethic, which I like. It is the 'third culture' -- neither home country nor pure China -- and I am fine with that."

After six years working for large companies in China, Ellen combined her belief in green technology with entrepreneurial interests (she had worked for several startups, including one which was bought by IBM, leading to her employment there) to co-found The China Greentech Initiative, which promotes investment in green-technology business opportunities in China. Matt is also involved in a large-scale start-up business, as a managing director at China Horizon Investment Group, which looks to open thousands of stores in rural China selling everything form rice to plastics. The type of ambitious work they are both doing seems difficult to come by in the U.S. right now.

There is another subset of expats, who move constantly from one assignment to another, making their way around the world. Matt Carberry told me that this never appealed to him; he likes to put down roots, and has become a pillar of the Beijing expat community, serving on the boards of his kids' school, a sports recreation group and a kids' charity.

Still, as much as they love life in Beijing, there are things that make them pause: Matt points to the pollution and lack of an outdoor life; Ellen feels guilty about living so far away from their families, especially separating kids from their grandparents.

Chris Buckley is another long-time Beijing expat who found a new calling -- making and selling hand-made Tibetan rugs -- since jumping off the corporate mother ship. The Englishman arrived in Guangzhou, China, working for Proctor & Gamble in 1995. Five years later, he and his wife, also working for P&G, changed their status from expats to local hires to relocate to Beijing rather than return to Kobe, Japan, where they were previously posted.

"It was an easy decision to localize, despite the reduction in benefits and salary, because I found China to be a much more interesting place to work than Japan," says Mr. Buckley, who is 48 and has no children. "The former was (and still is) on an upward curve, whereas Japan seemed to be settling into a long decline. I also found the younger Chinese employees much more eager to learn and improve, which made working here more fun."

Mr. Buckley says he got into selling Tibetan carpets by accident, taking over a small store as an intended hobby in 2001. "The business grew and I quit P&G a few years later. I don't think I would have made that transition had I not localized first," he says. "Expat deals are like living in a bubble, and if you quit from one of those you lose your house, car, etc. As a local you have an independent existence."

Mr. Buckley eventually opened his own carpet worskshop in Lhasa and is currently working closely with the Tibet Poverty Alleviation Fund.

The current economic climate is making an extended expat stay more appealing to some. Bill Russo recently left Chrysler, where he worked for 15 years, most recently as the vice-president responsible for Chrysler's business in Northeast Asia, to remain in Beijing.

"At least a year before my assignment ended I decided I wanted to stay here, but the problems back in Detroit made the decision fairly black and white," says Mr. Russo 48, who wanted to allow his daughter to finish high school in Beijing as her two brothers did. He is considering channeling his experience with Chinese culture into a new consultancy for companies looking to enter the Chinese market, which he believes will continue to gain strength. A year or two ago, he would doubtlessly have clients lining up at his door, but with China's changing economic picture such opportunity may be less certain.

While Mr. Russo is anxious to get a new job, he is currently enjoying a less harried existence and living without an expat package. "It has been nice to be here without the constant travel pressure associated with my job," he says. "I'm studying Chinese daily, and get around town using taxis, buses and bicycles. The past few months have given me the experience of and appreciation for the Beijing local lifestyle."

He says that while he will "certainly migrate back" to the U.S. some day, he is in no hurry and on no timetable. "I just felt that going back now, when there is so much more to experience here -- both professionally and personally, would have been premature," he says.

The Carberrys likewise have no concrete vision for when their time in China will end, and acknowledge that, just because they are no longer on an expat assignment, the decision isn't entirely up to them. "Since we've been in China, I've grown to live by appreciating one day at a time, and always keeping an open mind about what will happen next," says Ellen. "We're living in Beijing at the invitation and sponsorship of the government and thus, while we try to control our lives, one realizes that you're not in full control."

Write to Alan Paul at expatlife@dowjones.com

China Auto Interview With Chrysler's Bill Russo

March 5, 2009

Definitely recommended to anyone (and isn't that just about everyone?) interested in China's automotive industry.
Read on.....

Link Up, Learn More: Interview with Bill Russo, Automotive Industry Expert (Part 2)

February 25, 2009

Will China become a major force in the US auto industry? Or, is it really a question of “when?” How will the ‘Buy American’ provision affect the automotive sector on a global level and impact America's relationship with China?

Part 2 of my interview with automotive industry expert, Bill Russo, provides an insider’s perspective from someone who has served as an influential force in the industry for over twenty years. Put down the newspaper- to get the real story,

Read on.....


Link Up, Learn More: Interview with Bill Russo, Automotive Industry Expert (Part 1)

February 23, 2009

Will China surpass the US market in auto sales? Can a Chinese-branded car company compete on a global level?
As Chrysler's first Regional Vice President in Northeast Asia with over 20 years in the automotive industry, Bill Russo has the scoop. He was also kind enough to chat with me via Skype for this illuminating Q&A.
For Part 1 of a 2 part series with automotive industry expert Bill Russo, read on.....



The Emerging Office of Strategy Management

Harvard Business Review, October 2005

Organizations rarely get started with a fully-functioning Office of Strategy.

After a string of successes in the 1990s, Chrysler hit an innovation dry spell. The economic down-turn, rising costs and encroaching imports led to a forecasted CY2001 deficit of more than $5 billion.

A new CEO, Dr. Dieter Zetsche, took charge. He worked with Bill Russo, vice president of business strategy, and the executive team, to craft a new strategy that featured both sharp cost cutting in the short-term (reducing the actual CY2001 deficit by $3 billion) and substantial investments to create great new products.

Russo's strategy group worked with the executive team to translate the strategy into a Balanced Scorecard. The group then served as trainer and consultant to help Chrysler's business and support units create local scorecards, aligned with corporate objectives, and customized to their local operations.

Once this initial phase of design and cascading had been completed, Russo's group maintained responsibility for the data collection and reporting processes for the scorecard. This was a typical evolution for a Balanced Scorecard project.
Read on.....

Mr. Russo's efforts are described starting on page 4 of the Slideshare document: